GREENFIELD — The first thing Tim Regan did before instructing the group of young soccer players standing before him was to make it clear that a coach’s presence wasn’t required for players to find success in the sport.
“You don’t need a coach to do this,” said the Indy Eleven assistant coach as he observed the eager assembly of six-to-14-year-olds practice the finer points of juggling, ball balancing and dribbling techniques.
Under blue skies and plenty of sunshine, representatives from the North American Soccer League’s local expansion franchise made their way to Brandywine Park in Greenfield Monday to spread the word about the game on the tips of many American’s tongues following a wildly popular World Cup in Brazil. Campers donned white Indy Eleven T-shirts and followed Regan’s directives as the assistant coach of the local pro soccer franchise paced the grassy terrain and attempted to foster the skills of local children.
Attracting the attention of Indianapolis-area communities is a critical mission for the Eleven. The club’s head coach, Juergen Sommer, spent his pre-professional soccer days in the Hoosier State at Culver Academy and Indiana University. Sommer’s team features eight players who either played high school or college ball in Indiana.
The Greenfield Area Soccer Club plays the role of host this week for the Eleven’s latest soccer camp, which runs through Thursday. Last week, the Eleven held a camp in Fishers. Campers receive a T-shirt, a ticket to a future Indy Eleven game and are eligible to obtain additional prizes.
“It serves a dual purpose. The kids learn soccer and Indy Eleven is able to market themselves,” said John Skene, the Director of Academy Soccer for the GASC. “It brings something new and different.”